How to Manage a Project

Carrying out a Project

Additional Materials

Tips for managing the project team

If your project involves a team, then investing time in keeping the team connected, committed and energised will make the project progress much more smoothly and make your task a lot easier. The following thirteen practical tips may help in this.

1. Choose the right people if you can

Skills, expertise, contacts; even client representatives if it helps.

2. Negotiate time for the team

Ideally, team members should spend all their time on the project; unfortunately the reality is that they won't. The Project Manager must continually make sure that the team has time to do its work, balanced with the pull from other jobs or projects.

3. Clearly define the team objectives and what project will accomplish

Do this and agree it at beginning with team, boss, client; ensure common understanding

4. Break down complex work into manageable chunks

So that the project is easily understood by all team members.

5. Generate interest & excitement

Get the project team’s efforts off to strong start by getting them together early on in the project to help with the initial definition and scoping.

6. Maintain ‘what’s in it for me’

Keep up team morale by boosting their value ‘to the project,’ especially if the project or the environment is uncertain.

7. Face up to disagreements

Interpersonal problems and sectional differences are inevitable, even expected. Resolve them by working them through, not by sweeping them under carpet.

8. Publicise success

Remind the team and rest of the organisation of successes. Keep the project visible.

9. Have short, frequent meetings

Regular, informative. If they are kept short, then they are not seen as a chore; e.g. daily 15 minute meetings on a fast-moving project.

10. Keep promises

About e.g. facilities, staff, information 

11. Provide physical support

e.g. An office where the team can meet. A dedicated office, wallboard or an admin. centre can give a tangible signal that the project is being taken seriously 

12. Communicate well

Use fast and regular communications; especially if the project team is dispersed. Using electronic communications like e-mail, fax, can overcome problems

13. Maintain management links

Be sure the team doesn’t become so immersed in the project it forgets wider issues or loses touch with what’s happening in organisation. Likewise, be sure senior management or others don't forget about the project.